Last night I decided to rustle up some nice simple leek and potato soup because those were the ingredients to hand – a couple of leeks, an onion, some potatoes, some chicken stock and the remains of a tub of clotted cream.
Just in case there might have been a revolution in the recipe for leek and potato soup I had a look at Delia Online, the website of the sainted Delia Smith. I wasn’t expecting very much – I mean how complicated is it to chop a few leeks and a couple of potatoes?
Imagine my surprise when I find that she recommends using three discs of frozen mashed potato. Am I seeing things? No. The woman who had the public sweep the shelves clean of fresh cranberries a few years ago is recommending we buy frozen mashed potato. And not any old frozen mash either, but McCain’s frozen mash – she even spells it out. (Wonder how much that works out at per click?)
Honestly, how long does it take to peel a spud? Or to get someone else to do it for you?
I know that Delia’s new thing is that food has become too cheffy and programmes like Masterchef where budding cooks get their dishes trashed are off-putting to the inexperienced, but for goodness sake... there are times for cheating and a potato is not one of them.
Delia’s new book is full of this sort of stuff. It’s called How to Cheat at Cooking and it will go straight into the bestseller charts at No 1 on pre-orders alone. I don’t think Gordon Ramsay will be buying it, and neither will I.
Reasons for peeling my own potato:
I know where it came from and how far it travelled.
I know how it was raised and what its name is
I can listen to the radio and drink a glass of wine as I peel
A child can do it and it is an excellent introduction to food for them
I put the peelings on the compost heap and they nourish the ground
Any more reasons for peeling your own potato are welcome!